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Friday, February 5, 2010

Studying Chinese

I studied a little bit of Chinese before I came to Shanghai. Actually, I've been studying the language for more than five years, but before last October when I got the job offer to teach English here, I had no real plans to visit the country, so my studies were more of a casual nature - it was just a hobby.

Thank goodness for Juliana, my Chinese tutor in Phoenix, who was accepting of my erratic study habits. Because of her patient guidance, I can understand the numbers & some basic phrases, which is helpful when I'm at the grocery store or talking with a taxi driver. But any conversation beyond that is lost on me.

In an effort to improve my skills, I have been attending the free weekly Chinese lessons offered by my school, & every evening after work, I make sure to spend an hour listening to my Pimsleur lessons. I've also subscribed to online Chinese podcasts, & found a Chinese conversation group in town. Some of my students have even offered to tutor me!

I'm so glad for the variety of learning opportunities here. It won't be long before I'm chatting it up with the locals.

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